By Jackson Russell
One of the country’s biggest hardware retailers Bunnings Warehouse will build a new store in Seymour.
Mitchell Shire Council has received a planning permit application for Bunnings Warehouse’s new site at 63 Anzac Avenue, Seymour.
The planning permit covers the use and development of land, alteration of access to a road zone, reduction of bicycle parking requirements and display of signs.
The permit was passed by council with a vote of six to three. Councillors Fiona Stevens, Annie Goble and Bob Humm voted against the development, raising concerns about traffic issues.
Cr Stevens said council listened to the community and it was heartbreaking to hear valid concerns but couldn’t do anything about it.
“It was put before us and, as locals, we’re aware of the environment. A traffic report was provided by Bunnings with certain traffic paths and sweeps, as in how they’re going to manoeuvre around the site,” she said.
“I’m concerned about the sweep paths because of some vehicles moving to the middle of the road, and crossing the middle of the road.
“In particular, there’s a very problematic intersection of Anzac Ave, Oak Street and Chittick Place where I believe large vehicles will have difficulty safely manoeuvring.
“That particular intersection is where people cross to go to certain shops, schools, so there’s a lot of pedestrian activity and council’s flagged this intersection for further investigation already before you introduce the Bunnings truck component.
“I see that intersection is very complex and don’t believe what was put before me alleviated my safety concerns because of the way they will have to move across the road to make that left-hand turn.”
Cr Stevens’ north ward counterpart, Cr Rhonda Sanderson supported the development and said there had been a little bit of controversy every time a major retailer came into Seymour.
“We have to think of what the net community benefit is. There are a lot of funds that go out of town and we want to keep them in Seymour,” she said.
Cr David Atkinson said he spent a lot of time deliberating the development.
“The net community benefit is what we look at and I think there is a benefit to this,” he said.
“We have to lift these towns up and I think Bunnings will do that for Seymour.”
Bunnings director of property Andrew Marks said an independent traffic study was completed as part of the application.
“The traffic strategy has been carefully crafted to facilitate safe vehicle and pedestrian access to and from the proposed store, as reviewed by council,” he said.
“The new Seymour store will represent an investment of over $9 million by Bunnings and will create more than 45 new jobs for local residents.”